Do you realize that the concept of childhood first appeared in 19th century Western culture? Before that we had no idea there were different stages of human development.
In the 20th century, researchers discovered that humans progress through “stages” — discrete, never changing, progressive steps in their ability to make sense of the world and themselves.
Most people (about 79%) reach and settle into the Conventional stage of their development. They live and work successfully within the established roles and expectations of Modern society. They have developed what one could call early formal operational thinking.
Humans who move beyond this step reach the Post-Conventional stage. They realize that individuals are separate entities from society, and that their own perspective can take precedence over society’s view. A select 2% of us reach Beyond this stage.
What’s interesting to note is that no matter what development stage an individual is in they are still a contradictory and uneven person. Our Self’s development across cognitive, emotional, interpersonal, moral, motivational and spiritual domains is never perfect.